Political family

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A political family (also referred to as political dynasty) is a family in which several members are involved in politics and businesses, particularly electoral politics. Members may be related by blood or marriage; often several generations or multiple siblings may be involved.

A royal family or dynasty in a monarchy is generally considered to not be a "political family," although the later descendants of a royal family have played political roles in a republic (such as the Arslan family of Lebanon would be). A family dictatorship is a form of dictatorship that operates much like an absolute monarchy, yet occurs in a nominally republican state.

United StatesEdit

In the United States, many political dynasties (having at least two generations serving in political office) have arisen since the country's founding:


Four noted U.S. political families — Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt, Bush — have had two members that served as President of the United States

Four noted U.S. political families — Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt, Bush — have had two members that served as President of the United States.

  • The first dynasty with presidential connections was the Adams family. John Adams served as the second President (after serving as the first vice president), and his son John Quincy Adams served as the sixth president. John Quincy's son Charles served as U.S. ambassador (then called minister) to the United Kingdom and as a U.S. congressman. A fourth-generation member of the family (John Quincy Adams II) served as a state representative in Massachusetts, and his son Charles was mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts and secretary of the Navy in the Hoover administration.
  • Another early political dynasty was the Harrison family, of which six generations served in public office from the late 18th through mid 20th centuries. Benjamin Harrison V was one of the early governors of Virginia and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His son William Henry Harrison was the ninth U.S. President. William's son John Scott Harrison served in the U.S. House of Representatives, while his son Benjamin Harrison became the 23rd President (marking the first and only grandfather and grandson to serve as president). Benjamin's son Russell Benjamin Harrison served as a state representative and state senator from Indiana in the 1920s, and Russell's son William served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1950s and '60s.


Other notable U.S. political dynasties include:


  • In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the son of the late Pierre Trudeau, who also served as prime minister.
  • In Greece, the Papandreou family has been a predominant figure in Greek politics since the Metapolitefsi. Former Prime Minister George Papandreou who served as Prime Minister from 2009 to 2011, is the son of Andreas Papandreou who served three terms as prime minister of Greece, and is frequently regarded as one of the greatest modern Prime Ministers of the country. Subsequently, Andreas Papandreou is the son of Former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou (George's grandfather), who served three terms on a political career that spanned five decades.
  • The French Front National Party is led by Marine Le Pen, who succeeded her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in early 2011.
  • Uhuru Kenyatta has been president of Kenya since 2013. He is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of the Republic of Kenya, who left office in 1978.
  • In Latvia, Guntis Ulmanis, who served as president from 1993 to 1999, is the grandnephew of Kārlis Ulmanis, who also served as president.
  • Landsbergis of Lithuania: Vytautas Landsbergis, leader of the State in 1990-1992, is the son of Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis, a member of the government in the 1940s. Grandson Gabrielius Landsbergis is current leader of the Conservative Party. Another ancestor, Jonas Jablonskis, was an independence activist.
  • In India, three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family (Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi) have served as Prime Minister of India.
  • In Portugal: the minister of welfare state is married with a member of parliament involved in a scandal related with an ONG financed by the welfare state; The daughter of the same minister is the presidency minister; The interior minister is married with the sea minister; the justice minister husband was nominated for a public commission by a co-minister.
  • In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the son of the first Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew.
  • In South Africa, the last State President, F. W. de Klerk, is the son of Jan de Klerk who served as acting State President in April 1975.
  • In South Korea, both Park Geun-hye and her father, Park Chung-hee, were Presidents of South Korea.

Hoping to prevent political dynasties, the Indonesian parliament, who represent the third largest democracy in the world, passed a law barring anyone holding a major office within five years of a relative.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ KQED, General Article: The Kennedys in Politics, <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/kennedys-politics/>
  2. ^ Joseph Curl (January 20, 2005). "Rise of 'dynasty' quick, far-reaching". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19.
  3. ^ Feldmann, Linda. "Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush? Why Political Dynasties Might Make Sense. (+video)." The Christian Science Monitor 23 July 2014
  4. ^ Solomon, Andrew (2015-07-18). "What's Wrong with Dynastic Politics?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-02-05.